“American Art in a Global Context” at Smithsonian American Art Museum

September 28–30, 2006
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

The field of American art has moved beyond the old paradigm of “what is American about American art?” It is looking anew at relationships, influences, and two-way exchanges with the rest of the world, both historic and contemporary. While lines of academic and modernist influence from Europe to the United States were traced in the field’s early days, Americanist art historians are now interested in wider encounters with diverse peoples. They are exploring many levels of culture and varieties of media, as well as rapidly changing modes of international communication. This symposium looks at American art in a global context—from circum-Atlantic migrations in the eighteenth century to European training and travel in the late nineteenth century; from the export of US culture and media in the twentieth century to the impact of immigration and globalization on the nation’s visual arts in the new millennium.

The embedded video features welcoming remarks by Cynthia Mills, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Elizabeth Glassman, Terra Foundation for American Art; Wanda M. Corn, Stanford University; and other presenters—please click here to view all of the symposium sessions on YouTube.